Putter Shafts. Do They Matter?
Have you been fit for a putter? It’s a club that is used on every hole so I would imagine it would be important. This club tends to be overlooked when wanting to get fit for a set of golf clubs. Putter shafts in this case have evolved in the past several years so I wanted to test out to see how graphite and non-steel shafts compare to a normal steel shaft.
The putter head I used for this test was a Mizuno M Craft Type II. The two graphite shafts I used were LA Golf and BGT Stability One which I compared to normal stock steel.
Some of the questions I had were: Does having a graphite shaft change the feel of the club? Is there a benefit in speed control over 30 plus feet? Is it worth it?
Results and observations:
-Does having a graphite shaft change the feel of the club and the way the ball comes off the face?
Yes, in my opinion, there is a difference in how the ball comes off the putter face compared to the steel shaft. The contact with a graphite shaft felt softer and the sound seemed more muted compared to steel. When holding and hitting the 30 foot putts in the test, I felt a slight difference in weight but I don’t believe it affected my results. The weight of the steel putter measured 20 to 30 grams heavier than the graphite shaft but it felt similar when I was testing them out. What would I prefer from a feel perspective? I would prefer the graphite because the feel felt solid. Also, it is just a bit different than what I have been used to.
-Is there a benefit in speed control over 30 plus feet?
I used Capto and Foresight GC Quad for this test. The main difference I noticed with the graphite shafts after looking at all the numbers was how efficient the miss hits were on toe and heel strikes. Graphite shafts read as less torque compared to steel which would make sense from the results I received in this test. They were 5 to 10% more efficient in transferring energy than the steel meaning the ball traveled 4.5 to 9 inches closer to the hole. This stat is more related to 3 putt avoidance and how important it is to lag the ball from longer distances.
-Is it worth it?
Not going to hide it, it’s pretty expensive. The LA Golf shaft retails for $410 and the BGT Stability One for $330. Is the 5 to 10% closer to the hole on a 30 foot putt or more worth it? Maybe to some.
My final thoughts – I thought the feeling of the shaft and head combination were nice. Is it worth the price? Not sure. Is it cool? Definitely. Would I get one? Yes. Just one for now.